Nintendo Adventure Books
Koehne, Josie (interior)
August, 1991 (American edition)
October 17, 1991 (British edition)
0671742027 / 9780671742027
0749710039 / 9780749710033 (British edition)
|Length:||121 pages (66 sections)|
|Number of Endings:||13|
|User Summary:||Luigi has been recruited by Bowser to rescue the missing Wendy O. Koopa!|
I found this to be a rather surprising book. While the previous three adventures are close to trivial in terms of gameplay, this one is actually quite challenging. It's structured like some of the more frustrating Fighting Fantasy books -- it's not at all hard to reach the end of the story, but if you don't arrive with the right inventory items, you're doomed. Unsurprisingly, these items are hidden in obscure, non-intuitive places. It took a bit of mapping for me to figure out how to win. I wasn't too thrilled by this, as I felt the difficulty was more of a cheap shot than a genuine challenge, but it was strangely refreshing to see how potentially convoluted even a short gamebook like this one can be. I also enjoyed several of the puzzles on display here. While there are still a fair number of confusing or trivial challenges, I felt that some of the puzzles (mostly those involving the timing of jumps) actually captured some of the feel of playing a real Nintendo game. The worst aspect of the book was probably its actual text, which seemed to have the least flavor so far in the series, mainly because by sending Luigi off on his own, there's less opportunity for banter and conversation. It's not a big loss, though, since few people are likely to be reading these books for the character interaction....
My High Score - 1410
Among the line of Nintendo Adventure Books, Koopa Capers is certainly unique. As has been said, its most distinguishing features is how it actually captures some of the feel of playing one of the old Super Mario games. I found this made the dangers more immersive then most in the series, but at the same time I felt the settings were less distinctive. Say what you will about Double Trouble or Leaping Lizards, one thing they weren't lacking was variety of settings. In Koopa Capers it was more of a pain to go back and try to find the crucial items when the whole adventure takes place in the identical halls of a dank fortress and underground lava pits. And crucial they are; unlike other books up to this point where only one or two items were vital to successfully completing the book, Luigi's doomed if you don't find every single one.
Koopa Capers is a decent book--I personally think Luigi should get to be the star of more games--but in general, I'd rather have a new experience each time I read a gamebook rather than suffer through multiple attempts to find the "right" path to victory. Koopa Capers, with each part of the adventure feeling drearily similar to every other part, doesn't have the flavor to make successive attempts as much fun, and I can't really recommend it to anyone but completists.
This book was hard. No, I mean it. I really had a tough time with it. But, I usually like it when I'm challenged, even if I don't show it, because video games have become just too easy nowadays. More than half of the puzzles in the book made you stop and think for a while, especially the ones with the timing of jumps. Often times I would get lost in the book, forgetting which paths are the bad ones, but maybe that was just my fault. Also, it was good to see Luigi as the star again. It's like Demian said, though: if you don't come up with the right items at the end of the book, you're doomed. It took me a while to get all the right items, and it seemed to me there was only one right path to take to get them all.
High Score: 1410
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